USA Online Slots
Online Slots can be found at almost all online casinos. In terms of games selection, it’s the virtual slot machines offered which represent the main differences in game selection.
Casino sites offer hundreds of slot games with a myriad of different features. Games are touted for their features, so this slots guide helps beginners make sense of it all.
USA Online Slots
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Basic Tips for Online Slots
Online slots are one of the most popular casino games. There are thousands of games to choose from. This can be specially overwhelming when starting to play online slots forth first time. Below you will find 3 tips about gambling that can be useful to new online slot players.
No long-term profits
The house edge gives the casino the advantage on virtually every bet. Over time, the house edge assures that players lose more money than they win. Imagine betting someone on the results of a coin toss. If you win, you pay $50. If the opponent wins, they pay $45. Over time, you’ll lose money on this proposition.
Max bet is the best bet
There are basic ways you can increase your odds of winning in USA online slots. Making the maximum bet is generally the way to get the best payout. Taking advantage of the welcome bonuses and reloads also helps. Many websites now offer slot-specific bonuses and these should be tapped every chance you get.
Visit Several Online Casinos to Recieve Better Odds
Shopping around for online slots in the USA is the best way to find better odds or a better experience. You don’t have to buy everywhere, but shop around by doing research and you will eventually find the best online casino. To find out about more helpful suggestions and tricks, make sure to read our tips for playing slots page.
Top 4 USA Online Slots Casinos
United States online slots casinos offer large welcome bonuses, along with massive slots-only bonuses. USA-friendly sites support the U.S. dollar and English language, while most have VIP rewards clubs for loyal players.
These USA online slots casinos support the most common forms of payment, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Bitcoin. When it’s time to withdraw, they make smooth transfers to American banks and credit card services.
Slots.lv is a USA online slots casino where new players can get up to $1,000 in Welcome Bonuses, because players receive bonus money on their first nine deposits.
- They offer more than 190 Slot Games from the top software companies.
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All games at Slots LV use Real Time Gaming, Rival, and Betsoft software, so players receive a wide variety of the best online slots in the USA gaming market.
Play any of the hundreds of slot games and titles at the incredible Slots.lv Casino, where they offer you the ultimate Las Vegas experience!
International Online Slots Casinos
International slots casinos accept players from most countries outside the United States. The software companies which support real money online slots receive support from brands like NetEnt, Microgaming, and Playtech. This provides a wider variety of slots titles, including the most famous licensed slots, the biggest progressive jackpots, and the most advanced cinematic 3D slots. Players can expect to encounter a wide variety of deposit methods and licensing authorities.
888 Casino is the international slots casino supported by 888 Holdings, a global company listed on the London Stock Exchange. It holds on of the largest gambling community with around 20 million registrant. Some of the benefit of 888 Casino include:
- 888casino offers a £/$/€1,500 welcome bonus.
- Accepts a variety of payment methods including Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal.
- Popular companies like NetEnt, IGT, WSM Interactive, and NextGen Gaming support 888’s video slots selection.
Online Slot Games Reviews
Slot games can be found at all online casinos. These are some of the most popular games and usually casino sites will offer bonus tailored specifically for them. We have reviewed the slot games at the top online casinos and created a complete review guide of all the slot games. We cover everything about the game including pay lines, bonus features, themes, and return-to-player (RTP).
Top Online Slots Games
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How to Choose a Slots Game
Once you get to slots row, you might find the selection process confusing. Below is a how-to guide on choosing the perfect USA Online Slot game. We divide slots into two sections: those with the highest payout percentage and those with the biggest jackpots.
Highest Payout Percentage
- One method for choosing USA online slots is to find the highest payout percentage. This is easier said than done because most casino operators would prefer to keep their payouts a mystery. We can put these games in categories, though, according to jackpots, signage, and coin denominations.
Classic 3-Reel Slots
As a general rule, the best USA online slots with a fixed jackpot have a higher payout percentage. If you’re new to slots row and wonder why some gamblers camp out on 3-reel classics like Red White & Blue or the 777 slot machines, it’s because they have high fixed jackpots. Essentially, those gamblers know they’re getting a better deal with these than the progressive players.
Along the same lines, slot machines with a smaller screen, fewer graphics, or less “entertainment value” have higher payout rates. The idea is that good USA online slots don’t have to advertise as much. Also, designers and casino owners would prefer that players search for better machines.
High rollers get better deals. As a general rule, the bigger the coin denomination, the lower the house edge. Casino owners want to encourage high stakes players to gamble at their venue, so they offer better payout rates to premium players and high rollers.
If you want the highest payout percentage, look for the online slot games with fixed jackpots, little fanfare, and the highest coin denominations you can afford. Do not wager more of your bankroll than you can stand to lose comfortably. If you overspend to get better odds, you’re making a bad financial decision.
Players who prefer the highest payouts often wonder whether to place the max bets. Most USA online slots encourage players to make the max bet by offering a bigger jackpot on the max bet. This is the “economy of scale”, where the cost goes down as the numbers increase. On the other hand, casinos increase the theoretical return when the coin denomination is higher. If the jackpot pays out a higher percentage, make the max bet. If not, then lower your coins wagered and increase the denomination.
- Progressive slot machines are going to be the games with the largest jackpots. A progressive jackpot accumulates over time. Each spin which does not trigger the progressive feeds the pot by a little bit more. Progressive jackpot slots can be any size, but the most famous ones range into the millions (or tens of millions) of dollars.
MegaBucks holds 80% of the Top 10 slots jackpots in gambling history. When you hit a MegaBucks progressive jackpot, it’s going to pay out anywhere between $10 million and $40 million. This has spawned a whole array of imitators, which usually have the word “Mega” in the name. Examples include Megasaur, Mega Moolah, MegaJackpots Monopoly 3 Progressive, MegaJackpots Cleopatra Progressive, and MegaJackpots Cluedo Progressive. If it has “Mega” in the title, it’s likely to be one of the largest jackpots in the casino.
Other Progressive Slots
That being said, many other fine progressive slot machines exist. Wheel of Fortune Slots from IGT pays out over forty $1 million-plus jackpots every year in Nevada alone. These are not the biggest prizes in the industry, but it is the most popular game because it offers a high frequency of hits. Of this particular licensed brand, Wheel of Fortune Super Spin has the highest jackpot.
Analysts like me have mentioned many times that the progressives have some of the lower return rates among the slot machines. It doesn’t matter. Players love the progressives. Gamblers play the lottery for the same reason: the idea of hitting a life-changing jackpot.
Types of Online Slots
Below is a description of the types of games you’ll find at the best USA online slots casinos. A slot machine might be described as two or more of the sub-types listed below. For instance, a video slot might be a progressive slot and an interactive slot. We offer the definition of each, so you’ll know what’s being described.
A generic term for any online slot machine, because it requires a video screen to play it. The term developed from the land-based video slots, which were roughly synonymous with electronic slot machines. In today’s terms, it usually refers to a game which has 5 reels, multiple paylines, bonus features, and video clips.
Slot designers sometimes design a game based on popular franchises from the movie, TV, music, or other pop culture industries. Licensed slots have been based on comic books, novels, sports, board games, or monthly magazines. Because of the audio and visual clips needed, these are video slots.
Interactive slots or iSlots are games which have an interactive bonus game. The player interacts with the game. Essentially, you make a decision and it affects the outcome of the game. All interactive slots are video slots, though all video slots are not interactive.
3D Animated Slots
Video slots which use 3D animations for cut scenes and bonus games. These have the best graphics of any slot machine. The designers are trying to develop video game-level graphics and have succeeded. Net Entertainment and Sheriff Gaming have advanced 3D slots.
Online Slots Jackpots
Jackpot is a loaded word in slots these days, because of all the different kinds of jackpots available. So let’s look at the various jackpots that you’ll find at USA online slots casinos, as well as what they offer.
Many slots have fixed jackpots, meaning the value always stays the same regardless of when the last time the jackpot was won. Most fixed jackpots are only worth between 5,000 and 10,000 credits, which means they aren’t usually big draws.
These jackpots grow with every qualifying bet that’s made and will keep growing until somebody wins. No other feature has more attractive power than the progressive jackpot. Gamblers play these games, even though they know the progressive slots have a higher house edge. The reason is the same reason people play the lottery: they get a chance at a life-changing jackpot.
The majority of progressive jackpots are only worth around $8,000 to $20,000. But some jackpots, like the Mega Moolah (online) or Megabucks (land-based) prizes, can be worth millions of dollars.
Obviously, it’s exciting to think about playing for this kind of cash. But keep in mind that you often have to make a $1 side bet in addition to your original stake to qualify.
Random Progressive Jackpots
Almost every type of USA online slots jackpot is hit through a certain winning combination. A random progressive jackpot, on the other hand, can be hit on any spin, regardless of your spin result or bet size.
While you normally don’t have to make a side bet or wager a certain amount, you have a better chance of winning the random progressive jackpot by making a higher bet.
Even still, these prizes offer additional excitement for players who can’t afford to play a Mega Moolah or Megabucks type game.
IGT has been introducing multi-level progressive jackpots in the last few years. The typical way these work is a 5-in-1 progressive jackpot system. The lowest-level progressive might be a $10 jackpot. The next level might be a $50 prize. The next progressive might be worth $100 to $200 while the fourth level might be worth $500 to $1,000.
These are independent of each other though one might feed into the other. That is, these prizes might work like the “Multi-Level Pick a Box” bonus feature, where winning one prize might allow you to advance to the next progressive level. In most cases, whether it’s a 4-in-1 or 5-in-1 progressive, the machine also offers the big progressive, which is worth 6-figure or 7-figure amounts and is 100% independent of the others.
Games like Amaya’s Forrest Gump and Daub Games’ Grease offer multi-level jackpots, meaning there are actually several jackpots rolled into one. For example, Grease has you scratch off spaces on a card, and the first four jackpot spaces that you reveal determines if you’ll collect the small, medium, big or top jackpot.
Local Area Progressives
Land-based casinos offer linked or networked slot machines. Like the Internet networks multiple computers together, the link progressive jackpot links together slot machines for the sake of feeding the same pot. This allows a machine’s jackpot to grow faster and larger. The local area networked progressive tends to be all the machines in a bank of games, or all on one slots row. The biggest jackpots exist on the wide-area progressive network.
Wide Area Progressives
Brick-and-mortar casinos offer some slot machines which are linked to slots in other casinos, often in other states or countries. These are the wide-area progressives, which grow the fastest and biggest of all. The MegaBucks Slots network is a good example of this. Every MegaBucks slot machine in the State of Nevada feeds into the same pot until someone wins the prize.
Online Slots Reels
The number of reels in a slot machine is important because this greatly affects how many winning combinations and features a game can offer. Up until the 1970s, all slots were 3 reel games that operated on mechanical reels.
But ever since the Fortune Coin Co. developed the first video slot in 1976, manufacturers have been able to add more reels, thus increasing the number of slots features. Below you can see what to expect from the varying reel amounts at USA online slots.
3 Reel Slots
Sometimes referred to as classic slots, 3 reel games are usually among the most basic that you’ll find in USA online slots. True classic slot machines only offer one pay line and typically have no special slot features beyond a fixed jackpot.
The main reasons to play these games are if you’re just learning slots or if you’re nostalgic for old Vegas trips.
However, do note that you can find 3 reel slots with decent features and/or innovative concepts. Betsoft’s Ghouls Gold is one that we can think of because it has three different 3 reelers stacked on top of each other, with the first 3 reel set unlocking the above games.
5 Reel Slots
The best and most popular online slots USA are almost always found in this category. 5 reel slot machines seem to strike the perfect balance between offering enough different payout combinations and slots features without overloading the player (see 7 reels).
Based on the popularity of 5 reel slots, you’ll see the biggest progressive jackpots offered through these games. You’ll also find that most of the latest USA online slots releases have 5 reels.
So unless you’re looking for a simplistic slots experience, like what you’ll find with 3 reelers, we suggest that you begin with 5 reels.
6 Reel Slots
the features of online slots in the USA, a very small percentage of slot machines have 6 reels. This isn’t to say that 6 reel slots are inferior to 5 reel games, but as far as slots features, this variation is just not very popular.
Perhaps the reason why is because, with an extra reel involved, these games leave less room on the side for background/theme artwork. Nevertheless, these slots can be just as fun as 5 reel slots since they offer good features and lots of payout combinations.
Examples of 6 reel slots include NetEnt’s Aloha! Cluster Pays and Realtime Gaming’s Lucky 6.
7 Reel Slots
7 reels is one of the slots features that never took off. We don’t know of any 7 reel slot machines in land-based casinos, and there are only a small number of online slots in the USA with this many reels.
A couple of 7 reel slots examples include Barcrest’s Jackpot Jewels and Wager Gaming’s Lucky 7’s.
The good thing about 7 reel games is that they give players numerous pay line combinations. The downsides include that there’s absolutely no room on the side for background graphics, and some players may feel overwhelmed with so many possible payouts.
Other Slots Styles
Few examples exist of developers going outside the traditional reel model when creating slots. However, Amaya’s recent Jenga slots game takes a different approach.
These USA online slots features can be considered a different game entirely, but rely on the same concept. Instead of having reels, Jenga is just like the Parker Brothers’ game in that it’s a tower shaped slot. Each level of blocks is considered a pay line, totaling 18 pay lines in all.
The main problem with Jenga is that it doesn’t offer much beyond the unique tower shape and good graphics. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting approach that other companies may expand on in the future.
Paylines in Online Slots
As discussed before, the earliest 3 reel slot machines only had one pay line. However, as slots features evolved, so did the number of paylines, to the point where some slots have dozens or even hundreds of paylines.
Here’s what you can expect from USA slots online, based on the number of paylines that they have.
This is the oldest and most basic model that you’ll find in USA online slots, and single pay line games don’t offer many–if any–special features.
You must land symbols directly in the center reel for a winning payout in single pay line games.
The online slots in the USA are usually pretty cheap to play because you only use 1 3 coins per bet. In most cases, it’s to your advantage to play all 3 coins because there will be a favorable jackpot progression on a 3 coin bet.
Many players will find single pay line games boring after a short while because they just don’t offer enough extra frills.
20 to 30 Paylines
This seems to be the sweet spot of online slots USA features for most players, especially since many 5 reel games feature 20, 25 or 30 paylines.
The nice thing about this range of pay lines is that you have more chances to win without spending a fortune to play.
Some 20 to 30 pay line slot machines force you to play every pay line while others let you adjust the amount down to just one pay line. But even when you’re forced to play every pay line, you can keep the coin size at one cent and only bet between $0.20 and $0.30 per spin.
We recommend the games with this feature because they improve the number of times that you’ll win and keep things more entertaining. But if you’re ever confused by how all the different paylines work, just click the help screen and you’ll be shown the different line combinations.
243 Ways to Win
If you’re used to traditional USA online slots, you know that many of them only pay when symbols line up from left to right in an active pay line. However, a 243 ways game eliminates paylines and instead allows pay lines to be created as long as they’re in adjacent reels.
For example, the same symbol anywhere on reels 1, 2, and 3 could form a winning payout. If you’re familiar with scatter symbols, which we’ll discuss later, the 243 Ways to Win game basically makes any symbol a scatter. This makes it one of the most enticing slots features available.
Examples of 243 ways slots include Microgaming’s The Dark Knight Rises, Immortal Romance, and Thunderstruck.
These USA online slots can certainly make for exciting play because you have a good chance to win on any spin. But the only downside is that it can be one of the slots features with the highest betting requirements. You usually have to bet at least $0.25 to $0.50 per spin, which might make low rollers uncomfortable.
1,024 Ways to Win
These are the same concept as 243 ways slots, except that they feature 5 reels that are four spaces high (5×4 grid), instead of the traditional 5×3 grid.
This extra space above each of the 5 reels helps create 1,024 ways to win. Examples of games with this slots feature include Aristocrat’s Buffalo and Wicked Winnings III.
Just like the 243 ways games, these slots create additional excitement with the potential for many different payouts. But again, compared to other slots features, the minimum spin cost will be higher than most games.
Online Slots Bonus Features
USA online slots have bonus features programmed into them to increase their entertainment value. Bonus games offer animated cutscenes, music, and audio clips, but the features below affect the game mechanics and odds. When a bonus feature is encountered, it gives players a sense of accomplishment and the idea that something special is about to happen. Below you can get an overview of the most common. Additionally, if you feel like some terminology is confusing, make sure to check out the slots terms page.
The most basic bonus that you’ll earn in USA online slots is free spins. These are often triggered by scatters and theoretically give you a chance to spin the reels for free.
Some free spins also come with a multiplier, which helps you get bigger payouts. But even when a multiplier is involved, free spins are one of the blander slots bonuses.
Second Screen Bonus
These are the most appealing types of slots bonuses because they take you off the reels and into a different setting.
At the best USA online slots, you’ll find all sorts of second screen bonus rounds like selecting positions on a treasure map, spinning a wheel, choosing what direction a character goes, guessing whether a number will be high or low, and randomly selecting items.
Some land-based slot machines, like those by Bally Technologies, even offer interactive technology where you touch the screen to spin a wheel (U-Spin).
This variety is part of what makes second screen bonuses so fun because you never know what a game will offer until you start playing (or look at the help screen). And even the simple bonus games that merely involve spinning a wheel or selecting items can be fun.
So we highly recommend any slots you can find with second screen bonuses.
The wild symbol is one of the most common features in the best USA online slots. Wild icons substitute for any other icon on the reel to complete winning combinations (with certain exceptions). For instance, wilds usually substitute for all symbols, except the scatter symbols. The wild symbol increases a player’s odds of hitting a winning combination, making this a fan favorite. Several types of wilds exist: common ones are cascading wilds, expanding wilds, and stacked wilds.
An expanding wild symbol expands to cover an entire reel. If you’re playing on the standard 5×4 screen, then an expanding wild expands to cover all 4 symbols on that particular reel. This is popular because it increases fourfold your chances of hitting a winning combination with the wild icon.
Also called a “symbol slide”, this is similar to the expanding wild, except the wild symbols expand horizontally instead of vertically. If you have a 5×4 screen and a shifting wild appears as the top symbol on the 3rd reel, then the top icon on all 5 reels would become wild.
A cascading wild is sometimes confused with an expanding wild, but they are different. A cascading wild usually stays on the screen for multiple spins, while the remainder of the winning combination cascades (drops) off the screen. In US online slots, a cascading wild sometimes has a certain number of hits before it also drops off the screen. Three is a standard number of cascading wins before the wild symbol drops off the screen.
The stacked wild is a cross between the expanding and cascading wild features. It expands down the screen to the bottom but does not expand up to the top. For instance, if a stacked wild on a 5×5 screen hits on the middle line, then the stacked wild would expand down to cover the middle, 2nd-lowest, and lowest symbol on the screen. Like the cascading wild, the stacked symbols in USA online slots tend to fall off the screen after creating a winning combination. Stacked wild symbol features often can activate over multiple reels during a bonus game, increasing anticipation and the chances of hitting a winning combination.
After a normal slots spin, symbols will stay in place until you spin the reels again. However, cascading reels differ in that symbols from winning payouts disappear, allowing symbols from above to fall into their place.
The benefit to this is that you can create new winning combinations without having to spin again. In some cases, you earn multipliers as more and more wins fall into place.
Obviously, cascading reels add more suspense since you have the opportunity to keep forming wins well after your spin is finished. But keep in mind that you normally have to play all the pay lines in these games to make up for the frequent wins.
Holding and Nudging Reels
These two features were popularized by fruit machines in the UK and are still used in some USA online slots today.
Holding reels allows you to keep one or more entire reels in place while you spin again for bigger prizes. Nudging a reel causes symbols to shift in the reel and potentially create a big win.
Oftentimes, these two features are awarded from a win, but certain games allow you to hold or nudge reels at other points too.
Since holding and nudging give you some degree of control over the reels, they do add a little bit of skill to the equation. However, keep in mind that games with these features normally offer a lower return to play than most slots.
Skill-based Bonus Rounds
One trend that’s starting to form in the slots industry is more games including skill-based bonus rounds. What’s enticing about this is that your skill has an effect on the return to the player.
Examples of these skill-based bonus rounds involve first-person shooter modes, racing, and flying.
The only catch is that, at the time of this writing, the skill-based bonus is a concept that’s slowly filtering into land-based and online casinos right now.
The multiplier is not quite as widespread, but it is a popular bonus feature. This multiplies the size of the bonus you receive. If you have 50 coins with a 10x multiplier, you win 500 coins. Multipliers are usually activated with a scatter symbol, but also with the bonus wheel.
The wild multiplier is a feature offered on Aristocrat Gaming machines like Choy Sun Doa Pokies. What it does is give a player the option to choose either more spins or a bigger multiplier. Let’s use Choy Sun Doa as an example. In that Australian slots game, the player is offered their choice of 5, 8, 10, 15, or 20 free spins. If they choose a high number of spins, their multiplier is lower. If they choose a low number of spins, their multiplier is higher. This way, players can choose between a longer bonus game or a more volatile, shorter game.
Scatter symbols are a common feature in USA online slots. These usually are not worth coins, but they activate other features which are worth a lot of coins. It’s called a “scatter” because they can appear anywhere on the screen. You won’t need it to land on a payline to trigger the bonus feature. The main limitation is that most games require 3 or more scatters on the screen to trigger a bonus game or multiplier. Some machines only require 2 or more. Usually, the more scatters you receive, the bigger the advantages. Scatters activate bonus games, multipliers, free spins, or some other advantage.
Less common is the scatter pay. If you receive a certain amount of scatters, a set amount of coins is won. Players can tell if a game has a scatter pay feature if a pay table marked “Scatter Pays” on the game screen. Some companies called these “Random Instant Wins”.
The bonus wheel is given many names by slot machine designers. IGT calls this feature the “Bonus Wheel” or “Wheel of Fortune”. Bally Technologies calls their version the “U-Spin Feature”. Essentially, you spin a virtual wheel with a bunch of different advantages on it: multipliers, free spins, bonus coins, and other options. It’s a fun way to randomize bonuses and the U-Spin Feature seems to be gaining in popularity.
Pick Until Pop
The “Pick until Pop” feature is well-known on interactive bonus games. A player is given a grid of options. They might be told to choose a treasure chest, a piece of jewelry, or a type of fruit. When the player picks, a bonus coin amount is shown. The player continues to do this until one of the icons doesn’t have a bonus amount but instead has a “You Lose” or “pop” icon of some sort. Some games have a single “Pop” icon while others require you to hit a “You Lose” feature three times before the bonus game ends.
Multi-Level Pick a Box
The Multi-Level pick-a-box feature is a variation on the interactive bonus game. Once again, you pick an icon, like you would in the scenario above. Once again, if you pick the wrong symbol, the game ends. In the multi-level bonus game, there is the opportunity to advance to a higher level of the game, if you keep picking the right icon. It’s like leveling up in MMORPGs. The player keeps winning big jackpots until they pop. The multi-level game might have as many as 5 levels. While hard to attain, the 5th level jackpot might be in the 5-figure or 6-figure range.
Those are the most common USA online slots bonus features. Additionally, you can also find the following options while playing slots.
- Coin Size: This allows you to adjust the amount that you bet on each pay line. For example, you might be able to switch the coin size from $0.01 to $1.00.
- Coins per Line: Some slots allow you to put additional coins on each pay line, usually ranging from 1 5 coins per line.
- Autospin: When turned on, this automatically spins the reels with your designated betting options. Some games let you auto spin the reels for up to 100 spins or more.
- Max Bet: Quickly play the max number of paylines (and/or other options) by clicking Max Bet.
- Stop Reels: Want your spin to end early? Just click the Stop button and this will speed up the process.
- Double Up: Following wins, some slots give you the chance to double up your winnings by playing a mini-game. While this sounds fun, these mini-games usually equate to no more than picking whether a coin will be heads or tails, or a card will be red or black.
Over time, new features and options are going to be added to the best online slots in the USA by software designers, in response to player behavior and industry competition.
Popular Online Slots Software
Sometimes, it helps to know about the software company designing the games you play at USA online slots casinos. Below is a brief selection of the land-based and online slot machine developers.
International Game Technology (IGT)
International Game Technology has more slot machines in North American casinos than any other company. IGT is known for having the biggest progressive jackpots and the most popular slots titles. It also has dozens of licensed slots. IGT has a presence on 5 continents and is a leader in Australia, in particular. IGT also design one of the best online slots in the USA, found in the online and mobile gaming communities.
Bally Technologies long has been IGT’s number one rival in the United States. Bally Technologies began as an American pinball machine manufacturer but is now a leading USA slots online designer. Like IGT, Bally also has a widespread online presence. Bally Technologies offers its own licensed products with franchises like Michael Jackson, David Copperfield, Grease, and NASCAR.
NetEnt is a Swedish company known for its 3D interactive slots. Net Entertainment is an online and mobile gaming company only. Its software powers nearly two hundred casinos.
Microgaming is a UK gaming software company. It began operations in 1994 and is, therefore, one of the oldest Internet software providers. Microgaming has nearly 500 slots games and, at any given time, powers between 250 and 275 online sites. It also formed eCOGRA in the late 1990s to help the online gambling industry police itself.
Playtech is a rival gaming software company to Microgaming. Based in the Isle of Man the company calls itself “the world’s largest gambling software and services supplier”. Playtech began operations in 1999 and has hundreds of games in its catalog. Playtech has acquired Aristocrat Leisure and YoYo Games in the past couple of years, so it continues to grow.
RealTime Gaming (RTG)
RealTime Gaming is based out of Costa Rica and licensed in the Netherlands Antilles, but it began in Atlanta, Georgia. The company was sold to Hastings Ltd out of Curacao after the 2006 UIGEA law went into effect. RTG software powers about 75 online casinos, such as Bovada (Bodog) Casino, and provides one of the best online slots in the USA. Not all RTG sites are US-friendly, but RTG allows its licensees to decide and most accepts real money American gamblers. RTG is known for video slots like Rudolph’s Revenge and Santa Strikes Back.
To get a thorough insight into the industry, and learn more about the companies that make your favorite slots, check out our Online Casino Software page.
Short History of Slots
The first slot machine was invented in 1895 by Charles Fey, a San Francisco area resident. This gaming machine had a liberty bell as its jackpot symbol, so it became known as the “Liberty Bell” machines. The German immigrant began marketing his Liberty Bell machines to local businesses until San Francisco’s politicians passed gaming laws against them. Charles Fey designed them to pay out in fruit, bubble gums, and prizes instead.
Eventually, California laws became more stringent, so slot machines were outlawed in their home state. In 1931, the state of Nevada approved casino gambling, which gave slot machines a new life. They became a part of the gaming floor, though mechanical slots had only 3 reels and small jackpots, out of necessity. In the post-World War II casino boom, slot machines became a popular form of gambling but did not generate the percentage of revenues they do now.
It took the transition to electronic gaming machines to create the slot machine boom. The first electronic slot machine was released in 1979. By 1981, International Game Technology (IGT) was producing electronic gaming machines (EGMs) for casino floors. With the inception of random number generators (RNGs), the number of reels could be increased. So could the number of symbols on a reel, so the number of potential winning combinations increased exponentially. This allowed for bigger jackpots.
As the 1980s progressed, IGT led a revolution in slot machine design. Industry standards like slots clubs and progressive jackpots first appeared. So did the entertainment value of slot machines. This drove tremendous interest in slots row. As casino management began to realize they could offer EGMs with a higher house edge than the table games, casinos invested more money in their slot machine inventory. By the 1990s, games like Wheel of Fortune Slots and MegaBucks Slots were dominating the headlines with their million-dollar jackpots.
Online and Mobile Slots
These days, slots online represent 65% to 70% of the revenues casinos generate. A wide range of bonus features has been added to the game design while security systems have been improved to protect operators from slot machine cheats. Because they used RNGs for years before their inception, online slots, and mobile slots made an easy transition to the Internet. A wide range of online casino software developers now create the best USA online slots these days.
USA Online Slots FAQ
More than any other casino game, slot machines have more myths and misconceptions. To counter the misinformation, people need to learn the truth about USA slots online. Here are a few common questions that slot machine players ask. I might sound like a spoilsport in these answers, but slot machine gamblers need to hear the cold, hard facts before they play.
What are Online Slots?
With thousands of different games available at casinos and online, USA online slots are the most popular casino game worldwide. In their most basic form, slots have three to five reels of symbols that spin when a player makes a bet and hits the spin button (or pulls the lever). The goal is to get as many of the same symbols as possible lined up. Different symbols on a slot machine will have different values, and some machines offer bonus payments and free spins.
When you walk into a casino, you will find two types of machines: Mechanical slots with plastic reels that spin mechanically, and simulated slots which are presented in computer graphics. These are sometimes also referred to as video slots. When you play online, you will find only simulated slots.
Casinos love USA slots online for several reasons. They are consistent, do not require a human operator, and rarely break down. On top of this, it is difficult for players to cheat at slots. The house edge is fixed and cannot be changed by the player.
How do I play Online Slots?
USA Online Slots are very simple to play and require no real strategy, which is why they remain so appealing for players.
Although the process may change slightly from machine to machine, the basic way you play a slot is as follows:
- Deposit bills or a voucher
- Select the number of lines and credits to play per spin
- Press the spin button or pull the lever
- Win or lose based on the spin of the reels.
As you can see, playing a slot is very simple and it can be very entertaining if you choose a good game to play.
What types of slot machines are out there?
As we mentioned, there are thousands of options. Most machines differ by theme, but they are the same in operation. The only differences are the sounds, graphics, and bonus rounds. Slot machines will generally have either three or five reels with a number of pay lines or ways. Pay lines are combinations of symbols on different reels which can award the player a win.
Although some casinos still operate mechanical slots, most slots these days are fully digital. This allows for more immersive gameplay but does take away some of the romance of slot machines.
In some casinos around the world, you can also still play with coins and be awarded in coins when you collect or cash out. However, most casinos have moved to bills or vouchers, with cash-outs given in a ticket or voucher form that must be exchanged for cash at the cage or a ticket machine.
A recent trend is to base slot games on popular culture figures, performers, television shows or movies. So if you’re a Britney Spears fan you can play a Britney slot that has her music, face, and other related symbols and features. You’ll also find Batman slots, Ellen slots, and many more.
Is there a difference between online slots and real slots?
For video slots, there is no difference. An online slot is presented to you in the exact same way as a slot in the casino. There is a small difference with mechanical slots, as the reel will spin mechanically and stop in a certain spot in a casino. This will be simulated online.
It is important to note that those slots are all computer programmed to pay back a certain amount based on the weighting that is applied. Different casinos will have different payout amounts, so be sure to choose casinos that have the loosest slots, which means the highest payback percentage.
Can you win at slots?
Slots are programmed to return 98% or less, meaning they will absorb at least 2%. This is programmed into the slot machine and cannot be beaten.
Therefore, on a long enough timeline, you will lose 2% or more of what you bet. You can still win at slots though, and many people do. If luck is on your side, you could string together wins when a particular machine is randomly paying out. It is all about choosing the right time to walk away. If you are up a lot of money then consider leaving before your luck turns.
What are paylines?
Pay lines are symbols on different reels that award a win when combined correctly. They typically pay out from left to right, although some games will offer reverse pay line wins. Your wager will increase if you select more pay lines.
Some machines also have ways. These symbols just need to appear on the reels multiple times in any combination.
If you play one pay line it will usually be the center symbol on each reel in a straight horizontal line from left to right. Beyond that, most slot machines will have a small picture on them which shows you how every pay line works.
When playing a machine, the best strategy is to play all of the pay lines. If this makes the bet too large for you, consider dropping to a lower coin denomination or moving to a cheaper machine. The minimum bet amount is designated at the top of the machine.
How do I read a slot pay table?
Slot pay tables are relatively simple and easy to read. They will show each symbol and what cash prize you’ll earn when you hit that symbol or pay line.
A pay table will also show:
- What is required to get a particular bonus in a game and what action you should take in the bonus round.
- If there are scatter symbols and what cash will be awarded if you get them.
- What each pay line looks like on the slot face.
Are slot machine results completely random?
Yes, they are. Slot machines are operated by computer programs that randomly generate numbers based on complex mathematical formulas. This means every spin is independent and not impacted by anything that has previously happened.
Each of the slot reels is weighted to show symbols based on the payback percentage of the machine. Every spin is completely random, so only on a long enough timeline will the theoretical payback percentage match the actual payback percentage. This is why you can sometimes win or lose on a slot machine. If you ever hear someone say that a particular slot is running hot or cold, ignore this. Streaks have no impact on gameplay.
Is a random number generator trustworthy?
Slot machine RNGs found in Las Vegas casinos and leading online casinos are trustworthy and are regulated by third parties to make sure they are fair. These are true random number generators. They produce thousands of numbers per second. Each number corresponds to a different reel combination. When “Spin” is hit, the last number generated is selected and the video reels align with the corresponding reel combination showing. It pays to run a fair game. The computer technology exists to make truly random numbers. RNGs are programmed with the house edge of a slot machine factored into it. So while the results are random, the casino has a pretty good idea of the outcome. If a casino has 1,000 slot machines with a 5% house edge, they can pay out random winnings and still make a huge profit.
What is a scatter?
A scatter is a unique symbol that awards an instant win. Generally, scatters don’t need to be in any order and you’ll win a prize if three or more appear. However, some games will pay if just one scatter appears. So be sure to check the pay table to see how many scatter symbols you’ll need to get a win.
A certain number of scatter symbols might also activate the bonus round and award an instant cash win at the same time.
What are bonus rounds and how do I get them?
Bonus rounds on slot machines offer a separate experience to standard gameplay. To enter a bonus round you’ll usually have to hit three of the bonus symbols on the completed slot face. This will start a round in which you make selections to win the greatest amount of cash. Some bonus rounds will be very entertaining with excellent graphics, while others will be simple with just one option or prize to reveal.
Some bonus rounds will award free spins instead of a cash prize. If you activate this type of bonus you’ll get a number of free spins at the same wager rate as your original bet. This can be very lucrative.
Many machines will have bonus rounds and free spin rounds, and some will have different types of bonus rounds to keep you entertained. Visit our casino bonuses page to learn more.
What is a progressive slot?
A progressive slot is a machine that offers a top payout that climbs as more players play the machine. A portion of each wager is added to the progressive jackpot and it goes up until a player wins it. It then resets to a lower amount and starts climbing again.
Some progressive slot machines are tied to other machines. They combine to generate a higher jackpot.
What is the gamble option on some slots?
Many slot machines will give you the option to gamble after a win. If you win on one or multiple pay lines you’ll be awarded a cash win. The gamble option will then allow you to play another game of chance such as choosing whether a face-down card is a red suit or a black suit. The gamble option is basically a double-or-nothing bet.
It’s generally a bad idea to gamble after a big win. For smaller wins, though, it might be a good option for you.
Why do seasoned gamblers avoid slots?
Very few professional gamblers play because slots are based on chance. The players cannot affect the outcome and will most likely lose in the long run.
Most people play because of the entertainment and the small chance to win the big jackpot. There’s nothing wrong with playing slots for fun and entertainment, but if you’re looking to make a living gambling then you’ll need to avoid slot machines. This and many other suggestions are explained in detail in our slot machine tips page.
Is there any slots strategy I can follow?
Many slot machine strategies are available online, and most will get you absolutely nowhere. As outlined above, the outcomes in slots online are completely random and any strategy that you try to implement will have no impact on what is going to happen with a machine.
The only online slots strategy which is worth following, which is probably better termed as advice, is to bet enough per spin on a particular machine so that all the possible bonuses and scatters are activated. It’s always a good idea to bet every line also so that you have the best chances of hitting a win. This will, of course, increase your bet size, so perhaps play on machines with lower coin denominations so that you’re still betting an amount that is suitable to your bankroll.
What is a slots tournament?
A slot tournament usually consists of a number of players playing a particular type of slot machine at the maximum bet for a set amount of time. The goal is to have the most number of credits by the end of the allotted time. The person with the highest number of credits at the end is the winner of the tournament.
Sometimes in a slot tournament, you may be assigned a certain number of credits which you can use to win, instead of unlimited credits.
You can enter slot tournaments through invitation or by paying. Casino player clubs will often invite their players to tournaments and offer cash prizes or free play for the top finishers.
What is a class 2 slot and how is it different from a class 3 slot?
Class 2 slot machines are connected to a central computer system which determines which slot machine will pay out at which time. The slot is based on a bingo-style game which is masked by the slot reels. These reels are only used for entertainment purposes. A class 3 slot machine is an independent machine which has real or simulated slot reels which determine if you’re a winner based on recurring symbols on an activated pay line.
Some legislations only allow for class 2 slots as it is considered a bingo game. Class 3 slots are much more popular and are the slots you’ll find online and in gambling meccas such as Las Vegas.
Are some slots better to play than others?
There is little difference among the machines, although it is better to max bet on a low denomination slot than to minimum bet on a higher denomination slot, even if the amount you’re betting per spin is the same. It is also a good idea to check up on payback rates at a particular casino and go with the one that has the higher rate, as some can be quite terrible.
After all of this, pick a slot based on what you like. If you like a particular musician, television show or movie, then pick the slot that has that theme. This will give you a much more entertaining experience, which at the end of the day is what slots are all about.
Which online slots have the best odds?
As a general rule, the lower the jackpot, the better the odds. Progressive jackpot machines are likely to have a high house edge. Classic 3-reels with small fixed jackpots are likely to have a low house edge. Also, if a gaming machine does not have a lot of flashing lights or stunning video clips, then it is likely surviving on its payout rates. Those boring-looking 3-reel spinners the old-timers player are usually the best slot machines in the casino.
Should I join the casino slots club?
A casino slots club will track your play and award you points based on how much you wager. This is beneficial for both career gamblers and occasional players. Most players clubs will award points at a standard rate based on how much you bet. From this, you’ll be offered free play, bonuses, entry to free tournaments, and promotions. Depending on how many rewards points you get, you may be eligible to move up tiers. The higher the tier, the better the benefits you’ll receive. You may even earn rewards points at a faster rate.
It is beneficial to join a rewards club, even if you’re only a social player. It will not only track your play but you’ll get access to great offers and benefits based on your play. We always recommend joining a players club whenever you play at any casino.
What is the difference between a payback percentage and a slot machine hit frequency?
A payback percentage is the theoretical amount of $100 you expect to have returned, due to the house edge. If the payback percentage is 95%, then you can expect to have $95 returned to you out of every $100 wagered. This is not certain, but probable. The payback percentage is an expected return, factoring in all mathematical considerations.
The hit frequency is how often a particular jackpot hits, or how often you can expect to hit a payout on a machine. For instance, if the top jackpot hits every 250,000 spins, then the hit frequency of that jackpot would be 1-in-250,000.
If you’re talking about the chances of having a winning spin, you add up the aggregate hit frequency of all payouts on the machine and come up with a figure. If you can expect a winning spin once every four spins, then the hit frequency would be 1-in-4.
The hit frequency is how much action a slot machine has. You can have a high hit frequency and a low expected return, depending on the size of the payout. You can have a low hit frequency and a high payback percentage if the payouts are large.
Do you recommend any books on slot machines?
We don’t recommend any particular books on slot machines. To learn why, visit our Slot Machine Book Reviews page, where we offer insightful reviews of the available slots literature. The main point is that no strategies exist for winning on slots row, because it’s a pure game of chance. In the days of mechanical slots, the zig-zag method might have had legitimacy (but probably not). In the age of online slots in the USA, don’t worry about slots strategy. The best tip you’ll ever hear is to enjoy the game and look at it as entertainment.
What are some recommended online slots casino deposit methods?
Players can make online slots casino deposits using a variety of methods. Credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card are available at many USA Online Slots Casinos as well as on the International sites. Bitcoin payments are becoming commonplace too.
Many online slots casinos support money transfer services like Western Union and MoneyGram as deposit methods. So are web wallets like Neteller and Skrill. The chances are good that you’ll find your favorite deposit method at the best online slots casinos.